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Keywords:

  • poly(carbonate) glycols;
  • polyurethanes;
  • elastomers;
  • microphase-separated structure;
  • mechanical properties

Abstract

Randomly copolymerized poly(carbonate) glycols were employed as starting materials for the synthesis of polyurethane elastomers (PUEs). The poly(carbonate) glycols had hexamethylene (C6) and tetramethylene (C4) units between carbonate groups in various composition ratios (C4/C6 = 0/100, 50/50, 70/30, and 90/10), and the number-average molecular weights of these poly(carbonate) glycols were 1000 and 2000. The PUEs were synthesized with these poly(carbonate) glycols, 4,4′-diphenylmethane diisocyanate, and 1,4-butanediol by a prepolymer method. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements revealed that the difference between the glass-transition temperature of the soft segment in the PUEs and the glass-transition temperature of the original glycol polymer decreased and the melting point of the hard-segment domain increased with an increasing C4 composition ratio. The microphase separation of the poly(carbonate) glycol-based PUEs likely became stronger with an increasing C4 composition ratio. Young's modulus of these PUEs increased with an increasing C4 composition ratio. This was due to increases in the degree of microphase separation and stiffness of the soft segment with an increase in the C4 composition ratio. The molecular weight of poly(carbonate) glycol also influenced the microphase-separated structure and mechanical properties of the PUEs. The addition of different methylene chain units to poly(carbonate) glycol was quite effective in controlling the microphase-separated structure and mechanical properties of the PUEs. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 42: 4448–4458, 2004